It was reminiscent of something out of the old television series M*A*S*H. There were people everywhere. Every seat was taken. Some people were sitting in wheelchairs. No one looked happy to be there. There was a pall over the room as the sound of muffled coughs emerged from every corner. I’v…

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Editor’s note: The South County Chapter of the League of Women Voters will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States this year in a series of monthly columns in The Sun. The amendment, which gave women the right to vote, b…

I do a great deal of lecturing and training for individuals in all walks of life. Many are informal, at home, caregivers while others may be professional caregivers like nurses and doctors, as well as people who simply want to learn more about Alzheimer's disease “just in case.”

I have to admit that when GMC unveiled their new commercial on Black Friday of 2018, I thought at first blush that it was kind of cute, humorous even. Now I can’t stand the thing, nor the two entitled Millennials who star in it.

I could hear him in the back. I had gone in for breakfast and I got a virtuoso performance on the side. The cook was humming the strains of a familiar song. I liked it. The cool part of that encounter was the fact that long after I finished my meal, the song stayed with me. I began humming i…

It is now 2020 and we are no closer to a new school facilities plan for the elementary grades than when this target date was identified. Two obvious plans have been rejected and we are now having to face years of planning, informational sessions and voting ... again. We really can’t wait to …

There should be no shame in admitting when you do not know something. Merriam-Webster defines ignorance as a “lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.” It seems to me that the negative connotation surrounding the word ignorance has more to do with the refusal to acknowledge lack of knowle…

For a rather immodest reason I cannot let this holiday season close without a nod to Bill Gill, a mellifluous fellow from Mystic often seen walking his border collie rescues through the downtown and who for the last three decades has provided friends and relatives a serious session of head-b…

The New Year brings opportunity for change and many residents want to know what they can do to help others.   Your local first responders are encouraging you to also focus on helping yourself by make safety a priority when you make your New Year’s resolutions. By installing highly visible ad…

The stress level was rising. I could feel it. All I wanted to do was stay in line and get to my destination. At that moment, it seemed like the whole world was working against me. As I was decompressing an hour later, I realized that God had just given a lesson I could take into the new year…

It’s that time of year again. New Year’s Eve is tomorrow — the ball is about to drop, the champagne’s going to be flowing, and resolutions are getting made! We all want to be smarter, happier, and healthier, but sometimes we need help getting started. Don’t worry! No matter what your goal is…

Serenity Nicole Lauderbaugh, who is turning 20 soon, was a New Year’s baby, but, doing the math, she was not just any New Year’s baby. She was born two hours and 17 minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, in New London, making her the first baby of the new millennium at Lawrence + Memorial H…

Each year in mid-December a patriotic convoy of memorial wreaths begins its trek from Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, to its final destination at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. What started as a gift to forgotten veterans at our nati…

In review of 2019, let’s first acknowledge people we have lost: Barry Ricci, superintendent of the Chariho Regional School District; Eleanor Dove, matriarch of the Narragansett Indian Tribe; Jack Briggs, who worked for Charlestown for 37 years. They and others are sorely missed.

The image of Clark Kent stepping into a phone booth came to mind as I walked into Toscano's Men's Shop last week. A few minutes later I came out and hit the streets of Westerly feeling like Superman. I was walking on air. I was ready to save the world. Christmas was coming and I was ready fo…

Only a few days remain until Christmas, but advertisements for last-minute gifts and goods are still in full swing; to be honest, I don’t think they’ve slowed one bit since Black Friday. Not surprisingly, many of the popular gifts are tech-related: the newest smartphones, fitness trackers, d…

The hustle and bustle and run-up to the holidays always started the minute Grandma’s bone china turkey platter was taken down from the top shelf of the breakfront, then meticulously hand-washed, dried, and readied for first, our Thanksgiving, and then a few weeks later for the grand Christma…

Violet was so excited to be helping her grandfather, Chris. As each person arrived with gifts to stuff the police cruiser, she went up to them and said, “Thank you! Would you like a candy cane?” She couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old, but she had already learned the lesson that “I…

For several years mostly in the 1980s, the Town of Stonington was my beat for this daily newspaper. One of the requisite skills for a small town newspaper man is the ability to breathe new life into repeated situations: the Portuguese Holy Ghost Festival, Our Lady of Fatima, the Blessing of …

I still fondly remember receiving a boxed set of the “Little House on the Prairie” book series as a Christmas gift when I was a child. I loved those books so much! I think I spent the rest of the holiday curled up in a chair happily reading. These days, the holidays require more effort from …

Good news for those who need to use the services of the Veterans Administration. Jack Ryan from the administration will be at the senior center on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. He can answer questions that about veterans programs and services and help with filling out forms. This service is availabl…

My wife, Lori, had an early morning appointment in Providence. I dropped her off and then headed over to the Providence Place Mall. It was early so I figured I could get my walking done and do some window shopping for Christmas too. It was a practical way of tackling two goals with one trip.…

Have you had the chance to come into the library to see Roving Roger? If you do not know already, Roving Roger is a 7-foot-tall statue of Roger Williams, who in 1636 founded Providence. The statue will be at the library until Jan. 6, 2020. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea developed the exhib…

The recent reporting that the Westerly Town Council has authorized joint work with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) on its general strategic business plan creates both opportunities and challenges (“Town, RIAC to work together,” Westerly Sun Dec. 2). Opportunity for dialogue betwe…

It was a moment worthy of a Hallmark Christmas movie. With the historic hotel as a backdrop, the excited crowd waited in eager anticipation. Santa Claus arrived right on schedule via a Watch Hill Fire truck, dubbed “The North Pole Express.” When Daniel Hostettler, the president and managing …

What changed, and when did it change? How did we evolve from being happy and relatively secure human beings — going along on our life’s path, interacting with friends and family, commuting to work, attending church or synagogue, enjoying free time freely — to where we are today? The boogeyma…

The holiday season should be merry and bright, not devastating and gloomy.  However, each year, holiday fires claim the lives of more than 500 people and cause over 2,000 injuries. Cooking and decorations are the leading cause of the nearly 47,000 home fires that occur during the winter holi…

When Scott Davis and the M/3 Worship Band step up to the platform at Westerly’s Central Baptist Church on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., it will be the realization of a dream for Janet and her team. The idea for the Hope Christmas Concert began when God whispered in Janet’s ear, “Trust me! We ca…

Many are Westerly’s sons who moved away. Fewer still are those prodigals returned, as I recently did following a mixed career in nearby Massachusetts. But I like to think we are united in a single memory, varied though that is, of our salad days. I have many, but one of my most upright milep…

In the evening, I have been watching “Fake of Fortune” on Netflix. This BBC series follows journalist Fiona Bruce and art expert Philip Mould as they investigate mysteries behind paintings. It is like watching a police procedural as the team attempts to establish the provenance of the piece …

I visited Stand Up for Animals the other day to purchase their new 2020 Pet Friends Calendar (by the way, if you haven’t gotten yours as yet, you can get them from SUFA or at a number of stores in the local area). Make sure to pick up a couple for your animal-loving friends; they make wonder…

It is estimated there are 22 veteran suicides every day. This number originated from the VA’s 2012 first suicide report that analyzed service member deaths from 1999 to 2011. With this first report a Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention was identified in a public health framework that encom…

I was on my way to New York City to go to a conference last weekend. I needed a coffee and decided to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts. Now visiting a doughnut shop is dangerous for a guy who is always watching his weight. What’s worse was the fact that I was in the mood for something sweet.

My father’s name is Frederick A. Stanley. He was a fire chief. Not just any old fire chief, either. No, that never would have been good enough for him. For him, only the greatest fire chief most firemen in Rhode Island will ever have the privilege of knowing would do — so that was what he se…

Thanksgiving is next week and I suspect when you think of errands you need to run and places you need to go to get ready for the holiday, you don’t think of the library. Instead, most people are either figuring out their travel plans, or thinking of errands involving the grocery store and re…